Top 10 tips for safe computing and online privacy

  1. Protect your personal information. Be aware of schemes that ask for personal or financial information. Do not respond to unsolicited requests for confidential information.
  2. Choose effective passwords. Choose passwords that are difficult to guess but easy for you to remember. Use multiple passwords, change them frequently and use ones that include a mix of letters and numbers: all essential components of online safety.
  3. Verify a message before you take any other action. Do not click on a link, call a phone number, wire money or take any requested action, unless you first verify that a request is legitimate. Verify it using information from a source other than from within the message itself.
  4. Limit the online information that you make available about yourself. Be careful about including personal information online, on social networking sites, in chat rooms and in unencrypted email, and periodically clear your browser’s cache and delete any temporary files, as fraudsters may try to get at your information for their own benefit.
  5. Be cautious in your online activity. Be aware that email scams and malicious websites quickly surface for publicized or recurring events or when any news story breaks. Use caution when accessing new sites.
  6. Be wary of pop-up windows. Don’t click on any action buttons within a suspect pop-up window, including those requesting financial or identification information and those offering to sell you something.
  7. Maintain a suite of security software products. This should include a reputable personal firewall, anti-virus, anti-spam, and anti-spyware, all necessary to provide Online Privacy for your computer and your information. Beware of pop-up warnings that your computer is infected and instructing you to buy or download software to fix the problem.
  8. Keep your computer healthy. Take advantage of automated updates for your web browser, operating system, and for all software that supports your online behavior, e.g. browser plug-ins such as PDF viewers, or regularly check the applicable websites for required software patches and updates.
  9. Remember to log off. Ensure you properly log off and close your browser to prevent others from being able to view your information later.
  10. If it looks too good to be true, it probably is!
    Be cautious of emails and websites that promise incredible deals and monetary windfalls. You may end up giving your financial information to fraudsters or downloading malicious software by clicking on a tempting link.


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